UNCASVILLE, CONN – Three days ago, Ras Hylton wasn’t planning on fighting at Bellator 242.
Instead, he was supposed to be cornering his friend Chris Sarro at BKFC 11 in Mississippi. But opportunity knocked and Hylton (6-4 MMA, 1-0 BMMA) answered – that opportunity being a short-notice fight against Rudy Schaffroth.
Friday, the Maine-based heavyweight notched his first Bellator win, in the preliminary card opener. Hylton defeated Schaffroth (6-2 MMA, 2-2 BMMA) by unanimous decision.
“I’ve been looking to go to Bellator since I started my amateur career,” Hylton told MMA Junkie at the post-fight news conference. “I heard it. I immediately called my wife and said, ‘I’m sorry, honey, but I’m going to say yes. Over the course of the day, we got everything together. We got in touch with the matchmaker here and it was real. I was here Wednesday.”
As reality sunk in, Hylton became emotional. He thanked his coaches, gyms Dragon Fire Martial Arts and First Class MMA, and supporters.
“We’ve been trying to do this for a long time,” Hylton said. “I’m glad I got here. I can’t tell you how grateful I am to everybody who helped me do it. I know it’s me alone in that cage but there’s a lot of people who made it happen.”
Hylton implied his deal with Bellator was for one figh,t but hopes the victory changes that situation. Improvement is still in his plans, but Hylton has his eyes set on Bellator gold.
“I never want the judges to do anything during my fight, but I guess I did enough tonight,” Hylton said. “I guess I’m going to have to do more next time. I’ve been hunting down a title for a while now. I lost my first two attempts.
“Hopefully, Bellator is going to want me back again. I know they’ve got a badass champ. ‘Darth’ Bader, I know I’m not ready yet but I will be. My kids call me Darth Vader at home and I’m willing to take that.”
The heavyweight fight was the preliminary card opener of Bellator 242, which took place Friday at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn. The main card aired on Paramount Network and DAZN following prelims on MMA Junkie.
Original article: https://mmajunkie.usatoday.com/2020/07/ras-hylton-emotional-after-bellator-242-win-hopes-to-stay-with-promotion/